The theme of Open Access Week 2017 was “Open in order to …”, exploring the potential benefits of publishing research in an open access format.
During the week we heard the stories of Taylor & Francis authors who have found success in achieving their publishing goals through open access; whether that’s making new connections, attracting media coverage, advancing their research career, or reaching a broader readership.
Below we revisit three articles that have made an impact over the last year, and meet four of the authors behind them.
Girija Kaimal, Assistant Professor, Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University.
Co-authored ‘Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making’ in Art Therapy which has gained 10,333 downloads and an Altmetric attention score of 506.*
“I was very proud of this study.”
We had worked hard to do it and were happy with the results. It was also new for the field, so I wanted to make sure it was disseminated widely. In addition, I am a tenure-track faculty member who needs to demonstrate impact in order to get tenure. Making the article open access allowed it to be accessed by more readers, and in turn demonstrate greater impact. I actually decided to make it open access after it was published, and Taylor & Francis helped me with the process – it was very smooth.
“I knew this was ground-breaking research in my field and had alerted my communications office.”
My university did a press release for this article. I knew this was ground-breaking research in my field and had alerted my communications office. They too were inspired by the findings – that art making was useful for reducing stress, regardless of skill level.
“We received several months of extensive media attention.”
They put out this release and then we received several months of extensive media attention. I still get requests for additional information about this work, so I think the press release definitely helped. I also shared information about the article on my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, and posted on it on my personal blog and website.
Jonathan Edwards, Professor Emeritus in Connective Tissue Medicine, University College London.
Co-authored ‘The biological challenge of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: a solvable problem’ in Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior which has received 8,233 downloads and an Altmetric attention score of 91.*
“The review dealt with the research scene for a common medical condition and was intended to be of interest to academic colleagues and to patients and carers.”
Open access was of particular importance to us as authors because the review dealt with the research scene for a common medical condition and was intended to be of interest both to academic colleagues and to patients and carers keen to have a detailed understanding of the science.
The popularity of this article clearly reflected not just the interest from the patient community, but also interest from academics who were aware of the collaborative spirit of the review and were attracted by that.
The authors comprised an academic, three patients and a carer, all of whom had made use of discussion forums to foster dialogue between scientists and patients. For chronic disabling conditions, dialogue of this sort has a major impact on morale in the patient community. It may also be fair to suggest that it might help to break down divisions between competing academic groups: what might, in a friendly spirit, be called ‘banging heads together’.
Rumena Petkova, Senior Scientist at SciTechS Ltd & Stoyan Chakarov, Associate Professor of molecular biology in the Department of Biochemistry, Sofia University.
Co-authored ‘The final checkpoint. Cancer as an adaptive evolutionary mechanism‘ in Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment which gained 5,873 downloads and an Altmetric attention score of 55.*
“The journal’s policy has always had – and still has – quite an appeal to us.”
We have been publishing the results of our experimental and theoretical studies with the journal of Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment for quite a long time now. The journal’s policy to combine fundamental research with technology-related research and its potential applications in a field where progressively narrower specialization is usually the rule, has always had – and still has – quite an appeal for us.
“Online publication […] provides a wider audience that may expand beyond the specialists in the respective field.”
Online publication offers multiple opportunities for sharing research results. It works fast (for the authors as well as for the readers) and provides a wider audience that may expand beyond the specialists in the respective field (mainly researchers and health professionals). After all, every author publishes the results of their experimental work and their theoretical views with the intention that they are read and appraised by their peers all over the world.
“Its basic concepts make sense to virtually anyone acquainted with the latest cancer-related research.”
The epidemiology, etiopathogenesis and outcomes of oncological disease have always been hot topics. It is also possible that an idea similar to what we developed has already been brewing in the minds of other scientists and health professionals, as its basic concepts make sense to virtually anyone acquainted with the latest cancer-related research.
It is possible that our apparently ‘exotic’ hypothesis may have impact on the manner of selection of approaches combating cancer, that is, instead of the never-ending quest for a universal cure for cancer, it may aid in directing the efforts of medicine and healthcare towards individualization of therapeutic strategies for different cancers and tailoring out therapies to best suit the needs of the particular patient.
*Data is correct as of October 26, 2017.